Thursday, May 29, 2014

Day 2 peaks and towns near Keene NH

I was up before dawn and off to Marlow NH one of the 45 towns I have left to run in (in order to get all of the towns in New Hampshire).  I’d picked a run up/down Bald Hill for my 3 miles, which is the minimum run I’d do to consider running in a town.  My game, my rules!  The run on the actual hill was pretty rough in the low light (heavy fog at sunrise) and the upper part of the hill was very rocky.  I had hoped to do a loop over the top but couldn’t locate where the trail went from the summit.  I backtracked and then added on mileage on the very nice Gage Trail (unmaintained road).

 Next up was an easy 3 mile run along the Cold River in Langdon, Walpole, and Alstead.  I ran on the main road but at that early hour I had it to myself.

After the three town run, I headed north to Charlestown and parked at the junction of Hemlock and Octagon.  Octagon had a cool octagonal house and the road wasn’t posted as private.  Much of the woods on Hemlock were posted and it was not easy to find a place to slip between houses to get to Sams Hill.  I got in my needed three miles and don’t think I trespassed.

From Charlestown I headed to the very scenic Crescent Lake.  This was a pleasant spot to get a three mile run in Unity, Ackworth, and Lempster.  I even bumped into a couple of people out running.

My ankle and quads were really feeling the race from the day before and the 12 miles I’d already put in.  My plan had been to head to Pillsbury State park and run up the trail to Balance Rock and then bushwhack across Bryant Mountain and Goves.  Goves was located in Goshen, the final town I needed that day.  The way my ankle was feeling I knew I wouldn’t be able to run during a bushwhack so I wouldn’t bag the town.  So, my choice was a road run in Goshen or just do a trail run and come back another time.  The town and the mountain will not be going anywhere so I decided to just check out the trail up to Balance Rock.

The trail was very nice and I got a bit of a view from the top, more importantly I got to check out the woods which appeared to be very open.  I think it will be an enjoyable bushwhack in the fall or even winter.  After the run I took a very short swim in Mill Pond, man it was cold (and the bugs were on the attack).

I was done running for the day with 100 mile week but I had a couple of more destinations to hit.  Off to Concord NH for the Marjory Swope Park which featured trails up and around Jerry Hill which at one time had a fire tower on top.  I got in a nice relaxing walk over some smooth trails, in addition to the fire tower footings there was a glacial erratic with “Gilfillan” carved in it and also a nice northern view on the edge of the hill.

The final “peak” of the day was Carter Hill which has a nice viewing platform on top.  It looks like a very nice place to visit.  I’ll have to go back in the fall when the orchard is open and at that time I can bag the adjoining hill which is the highest “peak” in Concord (the highest point is on Oak Hill – but this would be the highest summit). 

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